Hewlett-Packard VARs said it might get ugly and it has.
HP is suing former channel chief Adrian Jones for theft of trade secrets such as strategic and financial plans, sales figures and employee information. Reports of the suit hit Wednesday night.
The suit alleges that Jones, while an HP senior vice president in Asia, downloaded this data and quit within a week without returning it. Within a month, Jones surfaced at Oracle as a (wait for it) senior vp in Asia.
Partners speculated at the time he left HP that Jones would rejoin Mark Hurd, the former HP CEO, who was named Oracle co-president last fall. One of the partners predicted that there would be lawsuits over the whole thing. Jones was a fan favorite among HP partners, many of whom are not sure about how new HP management under CEO Leo Apotheker will deal with the channel.
This drama plays out at a time when HP and Oracle, once tight allies, are engaged in a school yard fight over … well, over just about everything. Oracle chairman Larry Ellison wrote very public letters to newspapers about the folly of HP firing Mark Hurd. He then turned around and hired Hurd. A few weeks ago Oracle said it would stop developing software for Itanium. HP is the largest provider of Itanium-based systems.
HP said Oracle’s Itanium move reflects panic over dipping sales of Sun SPARC servers and market data shows that Sun hardware customers are, indeed, leaving the platform at least in part because they are not happy with how Oracle has handled it.
SearchITChannel.com broke the story of Jones’ exit from HP on February 22.
The law suit was filed in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County.
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